Title

Blameworthiness and Buffered Alternatives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2016

Description

Frankfurt cases are designed to be counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a version of which states that an agent is blameworthy for what she did only if there was an alternative course of action available to her at the time, the availability of which is relevant per se to an explanation of why the agent is blameworthy for her action. In this article, I argue that the buffer cases, which are among the most promising and influential Frankfurt cases produced in recent years, are not counterexamples to PAP. While the agent in these examples may be blameworthy for what she did, I contend that there was an alternative course of action available to her at the time, the availability of which is relevant per se to an explanation of why the agent is blameworthy for her action. I then compare my objection to the buffer cases with a similar, though importantly different objection to them. Whatever merits this other objection may have, I contend that the one on offer here has important advantages over it.

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